Adam Pennington joins NSU track and field coaching staff

NATCHITOCHES — Adam Pennington, a former Northwestern State competitor who has quickly developed into a well-regarded coach and recruiter on the college level, has joined the NSU track and field coaching staff.

Pennington, a USATF Level 1 certified and USTFCCCA Strength and Conditioning certified coach, will coach the men’s and women’s sprints, relays, hurdles, and pole vault for the NSU program, said head track and field coach Mike Heimerman. Pennington’s hiring is subject to the approval of the Board of Supervisors of the University of Louisiana System, which includes Northwestern State.

“Adam is a very hard worker, loves to recruit and thrives on the long hours. He is very knowledgeable,” said Heimerman. “He is constantly trying to educate himself in our sport and be at the forefront of teaching and coaching technique. He brings all the characteristics I was looking for when searching for a coach.”

Pennington, a Marksville High School graduate, coached at his high school alma mater from 2009-13 and had significant impact as an assistant coach at McNeese State as an assistant coach in 2014-15. He was selected after the 2015 season to attend an Emerging Elite Coaches Camp in Chula Vista, Cal., at the USA Olympic training center.

He also had success as a personal coach for high school athletes in Louisiana and Texas. In that capacity, athletes he coached included 61 state qualifiers, 13 state champions, 35 medalists, one state class record holder, and a USA Track and Field Junior national champion.

Coaching at Marksville, Pennington helped shape five district championship teams and two nationally ranked high jumpers, along with a nationally-ranked hurdler.

He coached five NCAA East Regional qualifiers in two seasons at McNeese, including the top-ranked Southland Conference 2014 women’s pole vaulter, Nicole Casper, who topped the conference record before taking third in the 2015 conference outdoor meet.

In 2015, Pennington took over coaching all of McNeese’s jumps events and the vault, and developed eight Southland medalists, including Southland Indoor women’s long jump champion Simone Johnson, among 25 athletes who posted top 10-ranked conference performances. Eleven of his competitors earned conference academic honors while four of his athletes made the All-Louisiana track and field team by posting one of the best three performances in the state in their specialties.

Pennington’s male athletes scored almost half of the McNeese total at the 2015 Southland indoors, and 22 of 54 points at the conference outdoors. The points scored at the Southland Outdoors by his competitors were the most by McNeese jumpers in the last decade.

As an athlete himself, Pennington was a decathlete at Cowley Community College in Arkansas City, Kan., from 2005-07, where his team was twice third at NJCAA National Championships.  Pennington was was a national qualifier in the decathlon in 2007 and helped his teams win conference and regional championships.

Pennington competed for NSU in 2008, and later graduated from LSU Alexandria with a general studies-kinesiology degree.

He fills the staff vacancy created when former NSU standout Chad Leath entered private business this summer.



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